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Title: Family Management
Author: [info]iulia_linnea
Pairing and Characters: the Blake family
Rating: G
Word Count: 725
Summary: When troubles come, it's good to be able to share them with family.
Disclaimer: This work of fan fiction is based on characters and situations created by J. K. Rowling and owned by J. K. Rowling and various publishers, including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made from (and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended by) the posting of this fan work.
Author's Note: [info]alisanne prompted me with Severus/Daphne: Baby's first fever. This ficlet takes place in the universe of the Thoroughly Inappropriate Series (see relevant tag below).



Everything was far from all right: the Master and Mistress were scared because the babies were sick, and Winky and Tessy had not been permitted to tend them. They hovered, unobserved and fretful, outside of the nursery, observing the upsetting scene.

"He won't eat," Master Everett whispered.

"No," Mistress Daphne replied, cradling Baby Eileen as she leaned against Master Everett, who was cradling Baby Roger next to her in the double rocker. "He likely won't eat until the potion cures his ear infection."

"We never should have had them here."

"Babies get ear infections, Everett. It's not Scorpius' fault that—"

"It's Astoria's," Master Everett interrupted. "Draco was always a sickly baby, and—"

"And she has a nanny, is that it? You think Scorpius wouldn't have got sick if he'd had a house-elf to tend him, do you?"

"I didn't say that. Shh, shh," Master Everett soothed Baby Roger. "I just don't think it right for a mother to—"

"Everett," Mistress Daphne said testily, "you've no right to judge my sister."

"That is being true enough," Winky said grumpily.

"Winky!" Tessy hissed. "You are being a bad house-elf."

"No, Winky isn't. Winky is allowed to agree with Mistress Daphne. Master Everett is strange in his ways."

"Master Everett," Tessy replied, "is being a good father to use the nursing bladder. He is bonding with the babies using it. That is good."

"Mothers are supposed to do the feed—"

"I'm not judging her," Master Everett said.

"Yes, you are—just like you're judging me for allowing Winky and Tessy to help care for the children."

"Daphne, I—"

"Just because you didn't have the benefit of a nanny or a house-elf doesn't mean that I'm a b—bad mother—and there's nothing wrong with the way Astoria is raising Scorpius!"

The babies fussed then, and Winky and Tessy clasped hands to avoid going to them.

"Shh, shh," soothed Master Everett.

"Don't you shush me."

"I wasn't. I was trying to—"

"Hush, now," Mistress Daphne said, leaning down to press a kiss on Baby Eileen's forehead.

"Now who's shushing—"

"Oh, Everett, she's so warm."

Master Everett tried to shift position so that he could place his arm around Mistress Daphne, but burdened with the nursing bladder and his son, he couldn't do it. Winky and Tessy held their breath as one.

"Winky, Tessy, come here," Master Everett ordered.

Pop! Pop!

"Winky is here, Master Everett."

"Tessy is here, Mistress Daphne."

"Winky will just be taking this," Winky said, removing the nursing bladder from around the Master's shoulders and sending it to the table, "and also Baby Roger, if Master wishes?"

"Careful," he replied, gently passing Roger to Winky.

Tessy, Winky saw, was already cradling Baby Eileen.

"Tessy will move the cribs into your room if you wish, Mistress."

Winky was surprised to hear so much disapproval in her tone.

"Everett?" asked Mistress Daphne.

He frowned. "No, that won't be necessary," he said, eying Winky warily, "will it be?"

"Winky and Tessy will be taking good care of the babies."

"Yes, Master and Mistress should rest," Tessy replied.

"Just be sure to keep the warm flannels on their ears," Master Everett said, as he led Mistress Daphne across the corridor to their bedchamber.

But not before, Winky noticed, he recharmed the little listening boars that lay in the babies' cribs.

"That is being insulting," Winky told Tessy, as they tended the babies.

"No, that is being good. Mistress' mother never did anything like it."

"No?" Winky asked, scandalised.

"No, she was not a good mother, not like Mistress Daphne."

"Master Everett is a good father, too, even if he doesn't know about house-elves."

"Tessy supposes so."

"Tessy should know so," Winky retorted.

"Shh," Tessy said to Baby Eileen, but Winky wasn't fooled. Tessy is shushing Winky.

Winky didn't like it, but she decided that it was all right.

Everyone is being scared during babies' first fevers. That is natural.

Sometime later, however, she was happy to observe that her Master and Mistress did trust her and Tessy enough to have fallen asleep, and after agreeing to take turns watching over their family, Winky sent Tessy to rest, as well, as she proudly took up the first shift.

It was so good to be a proper house-elf again, and not so terrible, she supposed, to have to share in the managing of her family.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
a_boleyn
Mar. 10th, 2012 03:45 pm (UTC)
Poor Master ... he suffers from all the insecurities of being a new father and wanting to do the best that he can for his ailing children. He just can't let anyone else take over their care.
iulia_linnea
Mar. 10th, 2012 03:50 pm (UTC)
*huggles Everett, you*
a_boleyn
Mar. 10th, 2012 03:54 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed the bi-play between the two elves. It's rare to see things through their POV. They take pride in serving their families to the best of their abilities and in agony when they can't or aren't allowed to do so. It's so unfair of some masters like Crouch and Malfoy to punish them so viciously for failings which often aren't their fault.
iulia_linnea
Mar. 10th, 2012 03:56 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed that, and I couldn't agree with you more—and neither, of course, could Winky. :D
leni_jess
Mar. 10th, 2012 08:30 pm (UTC)
It was lovely getting Winky's view of this family crisis, and seeing the elves' whole-hearted participation in it, with just that distance (and experience!) to get the parents to sleep and to soothe the fretful children, upset by their parents' anxiety. Their committment makes them so vulnerable!

Poor Severus, so worried, so helpless. Of course he and Daphne snarled at each other, desperately trying to avoid the blame they felt, but which wasn't theirs.
iulia_linnea
Mar. 10th, 2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
I'm so pleased by your response to this one; thank you so much! :D
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )